Category Archives: cherries

Pie-eating hypocrite

The infamous breakfast slice

The infamous breakfast slice

I promised vegetables, healthy dishes, and quick meals, and have totally failed you. But my intentions were good, and yes, I will get there. We’ve been doing well on reducing the amount of meat we eat, despite long hours and not much time to cook.  And I have the makings of a gorgeous onion soup in the works, if the smell of the stock I’m cooking in the next room tells me anything.  For now, though, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m horrible at making pie crusts.

Pie in the making

Pie in the making

It is the one thing that I don’t usually think twice about buying, even if it does cost about 5 times as much as it would for me to make at home.  But as a wannabe food person, I still felt this lingering guilt. I mean, it should be easy as … pie. Right. Whoever came up with that phrase obviously didn’t have to actually make the stuff.

Good thing James seems to have the touch. He’s patient, and meticulous, and apparently has cooler hands that I do, because he made this crust, and it was gorgeous.  Either that or it was the homemade butter (I swear — It was the store’s fault all along).  Anyway, I won’t give you the recipe for the crust, because it’s the same as all the other recipes, and why would I ever pretend to be an expert when I can send you here, here, and here?  I will tell you that we used 5/8ths homemade butter, 3/8ths shortening (it was on sale, what can I say), and the leftover buttermilk (not the same as the stuff in the store!) instead of water.  I will also tell you that she is sooo right about keeping the butter VISIBLE in your crust.

The filling recipe is posted here, however. It is beautiful, not too sweet, a little tart, and incredibly simple. And you don’t even need to blind bake your crust! It’s a double crust anyway, so that’s probably not exactly unexpected, but hey, celebrate the little things.  This recipe is adapted from The King Arthur Flower Baker’s Companion All-Purpose Baking Cookbook (phew, that’s a long title).  So, in that spirit, I’ll give you another one:

Sweet tart cherry pie (or why Mr. Washington shouldn’t have chopped down that cherry tree after all, even if that story was a myth)

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Oh Marzipan

Biscotti

Where have you been all my life? I spotted you, pasty, fragrant, and oh-so-affordable, at the market down the street, next to the random assortment of bulk nuts and dusty peanut cans, and I knew I had to have you.

Wet and dry ingredients

I wasn’t even there for baking supplies — I think I was holding a container of lettuce, something for dinner last Saturday. But you were irresistible. One more ingredient won’t hurt, right? And so, the search for something — anything — that would do you justice began.

Biscotti mix

Why biscotti? Well, I had some excellent biscotti for the first time not too long ago, and I was looking for something simple and easy to serve to dinner guests, something that would go with pizza and wine. After rummaging through the cupboards in search of something that would go with cocoa nibs (my new obsession), I spotted you, in your rather misshapen, golden state, perched cheerily next to a package of dried cherries. Funny how my lack of organizational skills pays off sometimes.

Biscotti, pre-slicing

These biscotti are not for the marzipan-shy, but I think that’s my favorite thing about them. Cherries and almonds are somehow born for each other, and the special heady scent of bitter almonds seems to be particularly suitable for this pairing. The cocoa nibs lend a chocolaty richness to the aftertaste, without interrupting the initial flavor too much. All in all, I’m pretty proud of these, so all I can say is I hope you enjoy them!

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Filed under cherries, cocoa nibs, dessert, marzipan